OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Melvin doesn't quite understand Angels southpaw C.J. Wilson's disdain for Oakland's mound, a feeling he expressed loud and clear last year.
"Our groundskeeper, I think, is one of the best in all of baseball, and our field is one of the best in all of baseball," Melvin said Tuesday afternoon. "Some pitchers feel good on certain mounds and others don't, and apparently he doesn't here."
But Wilson pitched like he did Tuesday night, holding Melvin's club to just one hit over eight scoreless innings on that mound, as the A's fell, 5-0, to the Halos to even the three-game series.
Oakland has been shut out three times in its last eight games, scoring just 20 runs over that span. Overall, it has been blanked seven times, second most in the Majors only to the Angels' eight. To top it off, Tuesday's lackluster performance marked the third time this season the A's have collected just one hit, equaling the most in Oakland history (1979, 2006).
And it's only May.
"You see games where there's a tone to them," Melvin said. "At times, you get those 0-0, 1-1 games, and it feels like nobody's going to score. There's certainly always momentum that permeates in a game, and you start grinding a little bit, everyone starts pressing a little bit."
Aside from a third-inning free pass issued to Daric Barton, Wilson was perfect through the first 5 1/3 innings, before surrendering a clean single up to the middle to Cliff Pennington. The only other A's batters to reach base in the game thereafter were Barton, who struck out looking in the sixth but landed on first thanks to a passed ball by Angels catcher John Hester, and Adam Rosales, who walked in the eighth.
"He was executing a game plan and just throwing the ball where he wanted to for the most part," Pennington said. "The only time he made mistakes was on his breaking ball, but he was keeping things below the knees and it was working real well for him.
"When a guy is throwing the ball well like that, and if you're hitting balls hard and they're not getting in the holes, he can get into a rhythm, and once he did, it was tough work after that."
It appeared easy work for Wilson, who afterward was approached by reporters about his past comments regarding Oakland's mound, as well as its fans.
"I mean, just some mounds you like better than others," he said, "because of the shape or the clay or whatever.
"A lot of that stuff was taken out of context. What I said was the fans that show up to the game are really loud and really adamant about supporting the team and it's a shame that more people don't go. That's what I said. So anybody that took that out of context, that's up to the headliners."
Wilson's night fortunately overshadowed the short one had by A's starter Graham Godfrey, who allowed four runs in just three innings while dealing with a sore right middle finger. Officially recalled from Triple-A Sacramento just hours before first pitch to start in place of the injured Brandon McCarthy, Godfrey watched the Halos post a three-spot in the first frame, when he issued two of his three walks on the night, along with three hits, including back-to-back RBI knocks from Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick.
Godfrey walked Hester with one out in the second, leading to a visit from Melvin and head trainer Nick Paparesta. He remained in the game and pitched one more inning -- Albert Pujols' solo shot in the third extended Los Angeles' lead to four -- before departing in favor of long reliever Travis Blackley.
Godfrey said he was told he may have an inflamed capillary in his finger, which ultimately affected the way he threw changeups and breaking balls, but the team is confident it won't prevent him from making his next start.
"It was something I noticed while warming up," he said. "It initially kind of felt tight and then, in just evaluating it, any time I stretched it out, extended it, bent it, that's when I was feeling a little bit of discomfort. It just kind of got a little bit worse as the game went on.
"It's just kind of unfortunate something like this came up. It's disappointing, it's frustrating. Things were going really well. I was confident in everything I was doing. So this is something we'll just erase, and hopefully I can get back out there and start doing what I know I can do."
Blackley fared well during his time on the bump, allowing one unearned run in the seventh inning.
Though the A's had nothing to boast about on the offensive side, they received a handful of web gems from Pennington and Josh Donaldson, both of whom made impressive diving stops. Both also, however, made an error.
Wilson, meanwhile, "got better as the night went along and our at-bats got worse," Melvin said.